A road trip can be a fun experience for most people. That is as long as their car is in good shape. If a car breaks down on the road this can become major issues and an expensive fix. If the car is not in the best shape it can also cost more in gas. These are some tips on how to check your car before a road trip.
Windshield Wiper Blades
The windshield wiper blades are often overlooked when checking the different parts of a car. Even if a person is not traveling during a rainy season they need to be prepared in case it does begin to rain. If the windshield wiper blades look worn it is better to spend the money to replace them before hitting the road. This will help keep a person safe and make sure they will be able to see under any weather condition.
Check the Tires
This is a very important thing to check to make sure the car is safe. Be sure to check the condition of the tires. This includes checking the threads on them as well as the air pressure. Car Care Ninja says if the tire is under the recommended pressure put some air in it. The owner’s manual will contain information on the ideal tire pressure. Look for any signs of damage on the tires including worn threads, blisters, and other signs of damage. Even if the tires are in good shape be sure that there is a spare tire in the car just in case something happens.
Check Under the Hood
It is very important to check the different fluid levels in the car before taking a road trip. This includes motor oil, transmission fluid, the air filter, windshield wiper fluid, coolant, and brake fluids as well. If these fluids are low they should be filled. If the car runs out of fluid this can lead to trouble with the engine as well as other expensive repairs. If a person is not sure how to check these fluids or the proper levels they should bring the car in for a standard tune-up to make sure everything is at the proper levels and there are no leaks.
The battery is another part of the car that is often overlooked. The battery should be free of corrosion and all of the connections should be sure. If the battery becomes damaged the car will not be able to start. Check to make sure the battery is charged and is able to hold a car before heading out on the road.
Look at the Undercarriage
The undercarriage of the car is not something that usually gets a lot of attention. In order to check this area lay on the ground and shine a flashlight under the car. A mechanic can also put the car up on a lift to check this out. There are some things that a person should be on the lookout for. They include any leaks, connections that have become lost, or any damage to the exhaust system.
Examine the Brakes
The brakes will allow the car to stop and they are a top safety device in the car. If the brakes are squealing or making some other sort of noise it is best to have them replaced. If the brakes are sticking they should also be replaced. Faulty brakes can lead to an accident. Before going on the road the brake pads should also be checked. If they are getting low new pads should be put on before going out on the road.
Make Sure the Children Will be Safe
When traveling with children especially small children safety is the most important thing. Be sure to check the car seats and make sure they are installed properly. Also, check the belts and straps on the car seats to make sure they are not too tight but will snugly hold the child in place. The seats need to be safe and secure before heading on a trip. It is also wise to carry an emergency kit in the car. This kit should include a flashlight, band-aids, flares, water bottles, a first aid kit, blankets, a gas can and a cell phone charge. This will help make sure that everyone is prepared just in case something unexpected happens.
These are some of the things that you should check for before taking the car on a road trip. If there are some small issues with the car it may not be noticeable driving around town. When driving hundreds of miles these little issues can mean big car trouble and expensive repairs. It is necessary to give the car a complete check before heading out on the open road.
Author Bio: Blake Slade is the owner of CarCareNinja and an experienced car mechanic. He always provides the latest information about car care. He likes to share his own experiences with all of us.